Kigali 4-5 April 2019 – The Kigali international conference concluded on Friday at Intare Conference Arena in Kigali, under the theme “Preserving Memory, Championing Humanity”, two days before the beginning of the 25th commemoration of the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi (Kwibuka25) on Sunday, 7th April.
The conference brought together over 500 participants from all over the world, including scholars and policymakers, to discuss theory and practice in the areas of reconstruction, resilience, dealing with trauma as well as identity politics.
First Lady Jeannette Kagame attended the conference, alongside H.E Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Adama Dieng, United Nations Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente and other distinguished speakers and delegates.
In his closing Keynote address, Adama Dieng hailed Rwanda’s successful recovery, 25 years after the international community failed Rwandans.
“In 1994, the International community, the African Union Organisation failed Rwanda. The humanity failed Rwanda. The 25th anniversary is not only a period of commemoration, but also an opportunity to reflect on what this country has done to heal itself. Today we are experiencing a country whose courge to unite and heal its people has been profound and remarkable. Rwanda has shown to the world that when justice and reconciliation are pursued with the sincere aim of healing and uniting the society, everyone wins” Adama Dieng said.
Johnson Busingye, Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of Rwanda, also in his concluding remarks, reiterated that governance was key in the country’s progress, adding that Rwanda’s governance model resulted from Rwandans’ choices.
“The choice and dynamics of governance we chose and continue to choose determine the progress we make. Democratic governance is about fairer, stronger, resilient, accountable, and prospering societies. Our dispensation currently is born out of specific circumstances. The country had to sit down everyone together and understand what works and what doesn’t work and agree on new ways of doing things. In these 25 years, we did not import our democratic governance blueprints from anywhere. We negotiated it as Rwandans and it is working for us” Minister Busingye said.
The two-day conference saw insightful keynote addresses from distinguished speakers, including HE Olusegun Obasanjo, Dr Bizimana Jean Damascene, National Commission for the Fight Against Genocide, Hon. Ba Tambadou, Minister of Justice of Gambia. Through different panel discussions, various renown authors, scholars and journalists, who tackled key issues facing Rwanda and international community regarding the preservation and transmission of memory as well as the reconstruction of a post-genocide society.
The panel sessions included the following:
- “Perspectives of a Post-Genocide Generation”
- “Genocide and Collapse of Society”
- “Choosing Humanity in the Face of Inhumanity”,
- “Imperative of Justice: Past, Present, Future Special”, and
- “Preserving Memory and Sustaining Gains in a Disruptive Age”
Café Littéraire on Kwibuka25
Amid the conference, a Café Littéraire under Kwibuka25 was held at the Kigali Cultural and Exhibition Village (KCEV), featuring three authors – Virginie Brinker (France) Koulsy Lamko (Chad) and Jean-Marie Vianney Rurangwa (Rwanda) who have expressed a special interest in writing about the Genocide Against the Tutsi.
The there authors elaborated more on their shared motivation to write about the Genocide Against the Tutsi, which is to contribute to the preservation and transmission of memory.
For more information watch the following videos:
- Opening remarks by CNLG Executive Secretary Dr BIZIMANA Jean Damascene here
- Speech by former President of Nigeria Olusegun Obasanjo here
- Closing Keynote Address by Adama Dieng here
- Concluding Remarks by Minister Johnston Busingye here
- Day 2 panel on “Preserving Memory and Sustaining Gains in a Disruptive Age” here
- Day One – morning session here
- Day One – afternoon session here